Celebrate Inaugural AppreciateAZ Day Today, Get Certified on ‘Leave No Trace’ Principles


AppreciateAZ Day is today. What does that mean for you?

The Arizona Office of Tourism is inviting all Arizonans to get “AppreciateAZ certified” in responsible tourism principles to celebrate the first-ever AppreciateAZ Day.

Certification, which only takes about 10 minutes via an online course, equips Arizonans and visitors with simple guidelines to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. AppreciateAZ’s 7 Leave No Trace Principles are presented as straightforward suggestions that were adapted specifically for exploring Arizona.

Everyone who completes the training by Friday, Oct. 14 is automatically entered to win one of five custom AppreciateAZ prize boxes.

The high-quality items in each box help reinforce the principles, such as a reusable water bottle recalling the importance of planning ahead and being careful with fire, a small cleanup kit to help “Trash Your Trash” and two REI gift cards to “Share the Outdoors” with a friend.

AppreciateAZ’s 7 Leave No Trace Principles:

  1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
  2. Stick to Trails
  3. Trash Your Trash
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Be Careful with Fire
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Share the Outdoors

“Arizona is blessed with the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world, which attract tens of millions of visitors each year,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “It’s important for each of us to understand how to preserve and manage our natural wonders, parks and outdoor recreation areas for generations to come.”

With interest in outdoors-focused trips having risen sharply during the past two years and more than 90% of outdoor recreation occurring in easily accessible areas mostly visited by day users, increasing awareness about responsible and sustainable tourism education is a high priority.

“People form long-lasting connections with nature when they understand how to protect it,” said Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “AppreciateAZ reinforces how small, individual actions result in positive impacts on our state.”

AOT is also launching the AppreciateAZ Ambassadors program, which empowers Arizonans with a passion for responsibly exploring the state to share their experiences with others.

“We’re regular people with regular jobs who also love getting out and discovering the beauty of Arizona every chance we get,” said Lauren Franklin and Owen Steinwall, who share their AZ adventures. “We’re excited to serve as AppreciateAZ ambassadors to continue to increase awareness about leaving no trace and protecting the places we all love so much.”

The AppreciateAZ Program was created in partnership with Leave No Trace, which uses science, education, stewardship and simple guidelines to support and protect nature. Find more information and resources here.

The Arizona Office of Tourism works to strengthen and grow Arizona’s economy through travel and tourism promotion, positioning Arizona as the leading tourism destination for domestic and international travelers. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism employed almost 200,000 Arizonans and contributed over $3.5 billion in tax revenue to our federal, state and local economies.

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